July 23, 2022

2022 Voter Resource Guide


July  25 | Mail/Online Primary* Election Registration Deadline

Aug 2 | In-Person Primary* Election Registration Deadline

Aug 2 | Primary* Election Voting (Mail-in must be postmarked no later than 8/02)

Oct 23 | Vote Early Day

Oct 25 | Mail/Online General Election Registration Deadline

Nov 1 | Election Hero Day

Nov 2 | In-Person General Election Registration Deadline

Nov 2 | General Election Voting (Mail-in must be postmarked no later than 11/02)

*Washington state primaries determine the top 2 candidates running for each position, regardless of party, who will then appear on the ballot for general election in November. 

Why Should I Vote?  

American Progress states: “State and local elected officials are the key to ensuring that significant reforms are made to the criminal justice system.” While state and local elections have a significant impact on our communities, they don’t get as much media attention as presidential elections. In the 2021 elections, only 36.88% of eligible Spokane County voters cast their ballots. 

The laws that impact us the most are often created by our state lawmakers. Policies such as police reforms, legalization of cannabis, marriage equality, trans rights, and abortion rights are all determined by our legislators here in Washington. In times like these when these rights are not guaranteed by our national government it becomes even more important to make sure we have folks in office in our counties and statewide positions that will prioritize and reflect the values of our communities. Voting is a way to raise our voices together and demand change. 

What’s On The Ballot? 

To find a personalized sample ballot with your local candidates and ballot measures, visit Ballotpedia and enter your address and email. If you do not feel comfortable entering this information we recommend asking a safe relative or friend who lives nearby if you can use their information to find a local sample ballot. 

This year, Spokane County voters will be voting on 5 County Commissioner seats for the very first time. Due to recent redistricting, our Commissioners will be living closer to us, giving us more representation in our own neighborhoods. This is a crucial year in local elections due to this change as well as the other vital positions in our local justice system that are up for election. 

In Spokane County, Prosecutor, Sheriff, Auditor, Assessor, Clerk and Treasurer are all up for election this season. These positions ensure oversight over county elections, spending, and our local criminal justice system. To review the candidates and their statements check out the Spokane County Online Voter’s Guide

Various fire department and district propositions are on the ballot across Spokane and the Valley. These propositions are for levies, or a slight increase in property taxes in the area to help fund necessary equipment and emergency services. 

Many state legislature positions are up for election this year. State lawmakers have a lot of responsibility and power to create change and equity in Washington. The Secretary of State for Washington is also up for election this year. The Secretary of State is in charge of overseeing state and local elections, certifying results, sharing the voter pamphlet and other related duties. The person who fills this office ensures election integrity and access to information for voters. 

In addition to local elections, we are also voting for congressional candidates this year. Congress members make the laws for the nation and can have a significant impact on the direction of our country. 

To find the full list of local ballot measures and candidates, check out the Online Voters’ Guide for Spokane County.

How To Vote

Before the election we encourage everyone to check their voter registration status to ensure that their information is up to date, their registration is active, and that they will receive a ballot in time to vote. Both Washington state and Idaho are permitting absentee (mail-in) ballots at this time, so please check that your address is entered correctly in order to receive your ballot by mail. 

To verify that your address is listed correctly in order to receive a mail in ballot in Washington state visit votewa.gov. If you reside in Idaho you can go to idaho.gov.

If you are submitting your ballot in-person in a drop box, or voting in person rather than by mail visit spokanecounty.org for Spokane County, WA voting locations or visit kcgov.us for voting locations in Kootenai County, ID. 

Safety & Confidentiality Considerations

We know that survivors of Intimate Partner Domestic Violence may experience barriers to voting due to safety and confidentiality concerns. For the general public, voter information, including a voter’s home address, is public record. For survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking there is a way to register while keeping home addresses confidential. 

It is a legal requirement that the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), the Department of Licensing (DOL), Health Benefits Exchange (HBE), and the Health Care Authority (HCA), must ask everyone who is accessing their services if they want to register to vote. When a person registers to vote in any of these locations, or registers online through votewa.gov, their information is placed in public record. 

In the state of Washington, The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) offers survivors a substitute address and public records protection. People enrolled in the Address Confidentiality Program can participate in national, state, and local elections without endangering the confidentiality of their home address. By registering for ACP and voting as an ACP Protected Registered Voter (PRV), a survivor’s physical address will not appear in public records. Once enrolled in ACP, participants are strongly encouraged not to register to vote through any other process than through the Address Confidentiality Program using a specific form for Protected Registered Voters. 

To apply for the Address Confidentiality Program, a survivor must meet with an advocate who has attended ACP training and been certified as an application assistant. YWCA Spokane has multiple advocates who are certified ACP application assistants and are able to assist survivors in understanding, applying for, and navigating the Address Confidentiality Program. For an appointment, please call our front desk, 509-326-1190, and ask to meet with a domestic violence support advocate. You can also contact the ACP office directly at 800-822-1065 to find out more. To identify an application assistant at another organization within your community, please visit this website. 

After gaining approval to participate in the Address Confidentiality Program, ACP participants will receive Protected Registered Voter registration paperwork and ACP specific voting forms. Again, ACP participants should not register to vote online or at any government office, because this will place their address in public record. An ACP Protected Registered Voter (PRV) must meet the same voting deadlines as the general public. Depending on how close ACP enrollment occurs to the November general election, a survivor may need to register to vote in person with their local election office. Advocates at YWCA Spokane can help navigate this process of voting and meeting required dates and deadlines while considering safety and confidentiality concerns with survivors of intimate partner domestic violence. 

** Note: It’s important to know that the Address Confidentiality Program is unable to remove information that has already been placed in public records. For this reason, it is often safest for a survivor to enroll in the Address Confidentiality Program after moving away from an address that is known to their abuser or that has already been placed in public record. When considering applying to the program, an advocate can help navigate these concerns.**

If you or someone you know is impacted by intimate partner domestic violence, know that confidential advocates are always available through our 24hr helpline services by calling 509-326-2255, emailing help@ywcaspokane.org, or texting 509-220-3725.

By: Rachel Dannen

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